Rodney Jerkins Says Michael Jackson Accusers From ‘Leaving Neverland’ Should ‘Be Ashamed of Themselves’ for Suing Jackson’s Estate
Michael Jackson’s famous moonwalk helped to solidify him as one of the greatest entertainers of all time, but his astounding career was not without pitfalls. For decades, boys and men have come forward accusing Jackson of sexual abuse.
The documentary Leaving Neverland details two alleged victims’ accounts of Jackson’s abuse. Producer Rodney Jerkins says the men should be ashamed for suing Jackson’s estate.
A recap of allegations in ‘Leaving Neverland’
Leaving Neverland focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused as children for multiple years by Jackson. Throughout the film, the men give accounts of what they say happened and how the alleged abuse impacts their adulthood.
The film premiered in two parts on HBO in the spring of 2019. It was well-received by critics, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special the same year.
The film however received backlash from Jackson’s fans, with many calling the men’s stories false and questioning their validity based on their previous testimony in denial of any abuse at the hands of Jackson.
Jackson’s family also blasted the film. Per Rolling Stone, they alleged the men are money hungry. Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson told the publication:
“We live in a world where currency is popularity — through followers, through social media — the more popular they are, the more money you’re gonna make. That’s just a fact. And it’s not a coincidence that both Wade and James have appeals going right now against the estate for hundreds of millions of dollars.”Taj Jackson, Rolling Stone Magazine
The Jackson estate sued HBO for breach of contract, citing a clause in a 1992 contract between Jackson and HBO and seeking $100 million from the network. The suit is still ongoing.
Rodney Jerkins slams ‘Leaving Neverland’ accusers
Jerkins produced many of Jackson’s records, including Jackson asking him to produce his final album Invincible. In a new interview with Vlad TV, Jerkins gushes about his time with Jackson and bashes Jackson’s alleged victims.
“I think allegations are merely allegations,” Jerkins begins. “I feel as though, like, for people to come out after someone dies should be ashamed of yourself. Even before all of that [Leaving Neverland], they’re just allegations — we don’t know [what happened].
Jerkins says he spent much time with Jackson producing his music and maintains he never saw Jackson participating in any inappropriate behavior with children. He also states that he never saw any young boys around Jackson while they were working together, outside of Jackson’s children.
Furthermore, Jerkins says he believes the allegations against Jackson are an attempt to jeopardize Jackson’s accomplishment.
“I really get upset when someone dies and you try to kill their legacy,” Jerkins says. “What was it that you weren’t strong enough to do it when he was alive and now that he’s under the ground [your plan is] ‘Well, let’s take him further down.’”
The Jackson family vehemently denies all claims against the late pop star. Jackson was found not guilty during all trials related to sexual abuse of children, though he did reach settlements with some parties. Jackson also denied the allegations while he was alive.